Eighth Army Veterans
City of Manchester
The Reverend, Mr Donald Pryce
The Reverend, Mr Donald Pryce is the vicar of St Chad's Church, Ladybarn. Every Remembrance Sunday there is a march from the Royal British Legion to the Church for his service. However, he has done a great deal for the Association over the years, and kindly acts as its Padre. He has attended our dinners and social events. He has provided guidance and support to troubled or bereaved Members. And at Christmas he sends through a message of goodwill.
There are plenty of people in the world saying that life hasn't quite turned out the way they would have liked. For many veterans, there can be profound sources of regret; the wife killed in the blitz, the comrade killed beside them, the years of youth that were wasted. Remembrance can put some modern day worries in perspective, regardless whether you have faith. .
The 1990 Christmas Message from the Padre put it rather well.
A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE PADRE - 1990
Over the years we have developed a state of giving and expecting gifts at Christmas. So much so, that many are driven to frustration in thinking and saving up to buy the presents they think members of the family or friends would like. Some have lost the element of surprise in receiving a gift because they would know well in advance what they were getting, or they may not be satisfied with the gift they receive.
Yet our best gift is free. "The Gift of Life". The quality and quantity of it comes later. Sometimes a great price is paid for life in military service; ill-health, disappointment, regrets etc., but without life there is no hope. This gift therefore should be celebrated every day with great solemnity and joy. You may think your life is marred with old-age, illness, setbacks, regrets or even failure, but Christmas celebrations reminds us of the most precious gift of all - Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to save us from all that would spoil the gift of life. Christmas leads into the New Year of Hope.
God's gift to us is sacrificial like true friendship or parenthood; we cannot go back to things as they were before. He gave; we receive, and with his help we make good of His gift. May we endeavour to do the same with whatever gift we receive this Christmas.